Background Group singing has been shown to improve a sense of wellbeing and affect lung function in chronic respiratory disease (Lord et al., 2010).
Aims As we sought to widen our supportive day services to increase options for early engagement and encourage a wider cohort of patients with chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions, singing appeared to provide a non-threatening introduction to services.
Method The opportunity arose for our Living Well service to collaborate with the local council ‘Music Support Service’, who were tasked with widening their community engagement. Together we ran a trial offering group singing to patients and their carers with long term lung conditions. We ran an initial eight week trial of weekly sessions, recruiting from our own patients (mixed conditions), as well as local Respiratory CNS teams and Pulmonary Rehab groups, carers and self-referrals were also welcomed. The group was led by the music service facilitator (funded by the music service) supported by a member of the hospice team and volunteers, and administered by the hospice. It was hosted at our Day Hospice building.
Results Great fun was had by all including harmonica recitals whilst wearing nasal O2 cannulas! Review of the trial using patient survey and OACC ‘Views on Care’ showed that patient attendees reported overall quality of life and main concerns had improved after the course and that 100% (n=8) of attendees felt a benefit from attending. Over 50% of attendees were not previously known to the hospice, and of those 80% had a non-cancer diagnosis. We have used the opportunity of attendance to monitor OACC measures when required, and discuss ACP with an attendee who had declined other options for engagement.
Conclusion Following this initial trial the group has become a permanent component of our supportive services, and continues with the facilitator funded for the coming year.
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